Sunday May 2, 2010 | Greg Boyd
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
God’s love is victorious! But perhaps not in the way that you’d expect. We often associate victory with our ability to control or defeat others but God’s victory encourages our freedom rather than squelches it. (We love discovering art that connects us to God in unique ways. Thank you to Dale Johnson for incorporating his art into this weekend's sermon.)
Greg reminded us that ever since “the Fall” human beings have had an impulse to want to be God. We often manifest this by our tendency to judge others and attempt to control others’ behavior. Of course, we don’t have the authority or the power to do either of these things, but we can project our desire to do so onto God. In fact, this is what happens in many of the ways God and other “gods” have been envisioned throughout history.
Many religions envision the superiority of their own god to be primarily one of power exercised through controlling the events that happen in this creation. We all tend to think that our God is “the biggest cosmic kid on the block”, so to speak. However, the vision of the true God revealed to us in Christ is very different!
Greg summarized the Apostle Paul’s point in 1 Cor. 1 this way:
Paul’s Criteria of Foolishness
If a conception of God’s power doesn’t look shamefully weak and foolish, it’s not the true biblical conception of power.
An example of how this looked in Jesus’ life is found in John 13:2-5. By the world’s standards, Jesus’ washing the feet of those who will betray him and deny him seems foolish and weak. But in fact, this is exactly how God uses power.
When things got even worse, Jesus’ concern wasn’t about losing control of the situation, but was about forgiving those who opposed him and humiliated him (Luke 23:34).